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ERIC Number: EJ914073
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
The Pain Was Greater if It Will Happen Again: The Effect of Anticipated Continuation on Retrospective Discomfort
Galak, Jeff; Meyvis, Tom
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v140 n1 p63-75 Feb 2011
Across 7 laboratory studies and 1 field study, we demonstrated that people remembered an unpleasant experience as more aversive when they expected this experience to return than when they had no such expectation. Our results indicate that this effect results from people's tendency to brace for unpleasant experiences. Specifically, when faced with the anticipated return of the experience, people prepare for the worst, leading them to remember the initial experience as more aversive. This bracing can be reduced either by limiting people's self-regulatory resources or by denying them the time to brace. These results indicate that people's tendency to remember aversive experiences as less unpleasant than they actually were (as demonstrated in prior research) does not necessarily imply that people are willing to re-engage in these experiences--because the anticipation of repeating the experience may counteract the initial memory bias. (Contains 5 footnotes, 1 table, and 5 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A